February 21, 2014

Wong Wins 1-meter to Complete UMBC Diving Sweep, Qualifies for NCAA Zones on Day Three of CCSA Championships

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – A day after winning silver in the 3-meter diving competition, UMBC junior Carson Wong (Hong Kong/Kowloon Technical School) made it a UMBC sweep of the diving events, winning the 1-meter, as the Retriever men's swimming and diving team continued competition on day three of the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association (CCSA) Championships, Friday at the University of Tennessee's Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center.

Heading to the final day of competition, UMBC is second in the seven-team standings with 598 points, trailing only University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) who has compiled 618 points.  Davidson (445 points), Garnder-Webb (334 points), and NJIT (151 points) round out the top-five.

Wong made it a sweep of the diving events after junior Ryan Green (Ellicott City, Md./Centennial) won the 3-meter event on Thursday night.  Wong scored 305.60, behind only Green (319.85), in the prelims, and ahead of senior Tim Perkins (Frederick, Md./Tuscarora) to qualify for the NCAA Zones meet to be held next month.  At night, the junior grabbed the gold by scoring 309.40 with Green (301.70 points) and Perkins (275.15 points) taking silver and bronze.

Freshman Alex Stewart (Ellicott City, Md./Howard) placed seventh while classmate Kevin Louis finished 11th.

After breaking the conference, meet, and school record in the 200 IM on Thursday, senior Mohamed Hussein (Cairo, Egypt/Victory College) captured the title in the 100-yd. backstroke on Friday evening.  The senior tied with UIW's Daniel Torres in the morning prelims with a time of 48.30 for a new school record, and then won the gold with a record-breaking time of 47.67, just ahead of Torres (47.82).

Hussein is seeking to become the first UMBC swimmer to ever qualify for two NCAA Championship meets.  Last year, he became the first Retriever male athlete, and third overall, to reach the national stage.  He has achieved NCAA "B" cuts in both the 200 IM (1:44.50) and 100 back so far this season.

Freshman Andrew Schrantz (New Holland, Pa./Garden Spot) and senior Johan Rohtla (Tallinn, Estonia/Tallinn Secondary Science) also reached the finals of the 100 back.  Schrantz tied for fourth with the fourth-best time in school history (49.69) while Rohtla placed eighth.

Hussein later combined with sophomore Leo Endres (Bamberg, Germany/Kaiser Heinrich Gymansium), junior Lauri Kaei (Harjumaa, Estonia/Tallinn Secondary Science), and freshman Gregor Sporlein (Bamberg, Germany/Clavius-Gymnasium) to break the school record in the 400 medley relay.  The Retrievers placed second behind UIW with a time of 3:14.41.  The time breaks the previous UMBC mark of 3:17.70 set in 2012 by Hussein, Reijo Hyvenen, Sandy Haibel, and Steve Gallagher.  Hussein also lowered his 100 back record by swimming the lead-off leg in 47.66.

After a record-setting performance in the prelims of the 400 IM, freshman Andrew McKissick (Ellicott City, Md./Mount St. Joseph's) and senior Reed Neuendorf (Blauvelt, N.Y./Tappan Zee) placed fourth and fifth, respectively, while sophomore Luca Santinelli (Via Alfieria, Italy/Liceo Sceintifico) took eight.  During the morning session, McKissick recorded the third-fastest time in program history (3:58.20) while Neuendorf touched in at 3:59.20 to jump to fifth in the UMBC record book.

In the 100-yd. butterfly, Kaei clipped his season-best time down to 49.62 to take fifth-place.  Schrantz, who just missed out on the finals by .04, finished in tenth place with a personal-best time of 50.32.

Sporlein and junior Rob Breen (Danvers, Mass./St. John's Prep) represented UMBC in the 200 free, with Sporlein winning a bronze medal and Breen taking fifth.  Both athletes set career-bests in the prelim round as Sporlein recorded an NCAA "B" cut time of 1:37.56 to jump to third in the Retriever record book.  Breen, meanwhile, clocked in at 1:38.63 in the prelims for the seventh-best time at UMBC. 

Sophomore Leo Endres (Bamberg, Germany/Kaiser Heinrich Gymnasium) earned a bronze in the 100-yd. breaststroke after recording a "B" cut time in the prelims and again in the event finals.  Endres touched in with a new school record time of 54.70 during the morning session, and nearly outdid himself at night by capturing third with a time of 54.84.  Classmate Daniel Cano (Madrid, Spain/IES Ortega y Gasset) and Santinelli also advanced to the finals, finishing fifth and seventh, respectively.